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Niki’s Spring Veg Stew with Pesto & Roast Fennel

Niki Webster

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the soup:

2 onions, chopped roughly

2 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, sliced

2 carrots, chopped into small dice

2 courgettes, diced

5 plum tomatoes, roughly sliced

1 litre veg stock

1/2 tsp oregano

1 tbsp fresh thyme

1 (400g) tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3 handfuls broad beans (frozen or fresh)

3 handfuls of fresh spinach

Juice 1/2 lemon

3 tbsp nutritional yeast (you could use Parmesan if not vegan)

1 tsp sea salt

For the roast fennel:

1 bulb fennel, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

Pinch sea salt flakes

For the pesto:

100g pine nuts, toasted

60g fresh basil

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp nutritional yeast (you could use Parmesan if not vegan)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 lemon juice

50ml water

Veg Portions / Serving: 3

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Packed with 8 veggies, this spring stew is an easy way to eat them! Let your stove and oven do the work for you and enjoy the delicious result.

Method:

In a large pan add the olive oil and onions and cook on a medium heat for 7-8 minutes until soft and browning. Add in the garlic and carrot. salt, Stir to combine and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or so. 

Add courgette and fry for a further few minutes. Now add the chopped tomatoes, allow them to soften a little. Next add the veg stock, oregano and thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes covered then remove the lid and add the beans simmer for a further 10 minutes. 

Finally add the spinach, lemon juice and nutritional yeast – stir to combine. Season well. 

To roast the fennel:

Preheat your oven to 180c (gas 4). Chop the fennel and add to a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and slightly charred. Remove from the oven. 

To make the pesto dressing: 

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz to combine. 

To serve: 

Top with the roast fennel. Stir in dollops of the pesto dressing.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Get the kids to drizzle the olive oil and salt over the fennel before baking and lay it out on the cold baking tray. Help them make the pesto by adding the ingredients to a blender and pushing the button.

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Niki Webster

Niki is a cookbook author, freelance food consultant, recipe creator, food stylist, photographer and qualified Holistic Health Coach. Niki shares her easy and accessible plant based recipes packed with fresh seasonal organic veg on her award-winning food blog Rebel Recipes.

www.rebelrecipes.com/

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